Several years ago, a twenty-something young man with miserly sensibilities felt frustration gnawing him to the core. A wary Iraq war veteran who had -- in the fog of the disillusionment of youth -- purchased a modest home at an immodest price at the height of the housing market, vowed to never miss a deal again. The joy he felt at finding a great deal was palpable (mainly because he loudly boasted about such purchases at every opportunity). Yet the frustration remained; how, without precious time spent manually searching the vastness of the Internet, could he ever know if the price he paid for an item was truly the lowest to be found? Behind his grandiose claims about the virtues of his discounted vacuum, would there forever be a vague tug of doubt?
Sure, there were websites to assist in his efforts. But their unsightliness offended his eyes and their unimaginative design efforts offended his deepest sense of what was right in the world. The fact that these sites were raking in enough money to have staffs in the dozens was both confounding and intriguing. Perhaps, just maybe, he could create his own website that would ensure that his boasts were always warranted. Perhaps he could know without a shred of uncertainty that the noise cancelling headphones he set upon his ears were purchased at the precise moment of intersection between quality and price so as to set afire whispers of razor thin profit margins and proclamations of disbelief from all who bore witness.
Setting aside all distractions for three years, the young man holed up in his immodestly priced home (which, in moments of self-doubt in his quest served as a reminder of the perils of defeat), his fingertips dancing upon his ergonomic keyboard, the blue glow of his monitor -- a beacon of innovation -- visible from the street into the dark hours of night. An autodidact by nature, he taught himself to code, and with painstaking effort he crafted a deal scraping site with a sleek style that would put all others to shame.
After many months had passed, he emerged. His wife blinked her eyes in confusion. Her husband had long ago disappeared into a mist. Whenever she dared open the door to his home office, all she saw were long shadows and all she heard was a vaguely familiar voice whispering foreign words: Django...Bootstrap…The sparse words were punctuated with the crunching of salsa-dipped chips.
But now the man was suddenly ambulating around the house, and in his countenance she saw the familiar features of her erstwhile husband. He had returned, triumphant. With him, he brought boasts of new deals -- boasts that held a new fervor, a new confidence. He had single-handedly created a website that searched the Internet for deals on anything one’s heart desired. Deals, he ventured, that could even be considered steals.
With that, StealEngine was born.